Vote ARTS on October 15: A NS Municipal Elections Primer
First, and most simply, you can show your support by using this #ArtsVote avatar on your social media accounts.
Meet your local candidates. Attend forums and debates. Send an email or letter. Answer the door when your local candidate drops by and have a conversation. Ask questions about their policies and support for arts and culture in your community. If you have specific concerns to your area, let them be heard. Vote!
To find the official candidates list in HRM with their contact information go to http://www.halifax.ca/election/CandidateList.php. To find candidates in your area of NS go to http://www.localdecisions.ca/find_your_candidates.
Questions for all candidates across Nova Scotia:
1. How would you encourage and nurture the growth of arts and culture in our district?
2. Do you support a dedicated budget to the arts in our town/city?
3. What is the role of arts and culture in economic and social well-being of our community?
Questions for Halifax candidates:
The 2014-15 budget, included $300,000 to the Interim Professional Arts Organization Grant Program, a precursor to Arts HRM, which was supposed to deliver operating funding to arts organizations through a peer jury system for 2015-16. Council had also accepted a recommendation to increase funding to $768,000 by the end of 2018 as well as give grants to individual artists in 2017-18. We have been stuck in Phase 1 of the 3-year plan with no details about the creation of Arts HRM, a peer jury system or an increase to funding. Full details of the advisory report are available at halifax.ca/boardscom/documents/SACACReport.pdf.
1. Do you support the creation of an arms-length arts and culture granting body within the next 3 years?
3. Do you support raising the Arts and Culture funding budget, to meet the national average per capital municipal funding, from the current $300,000 to $768,000 by the end of 2018?
4. Do you support the creation of a program for individual artists to access funding?
http://www.canadianartscoalition.com/drop-the-mic-what-can-we-learn-from-arts-advocacy/. Thanks to the Greater Halifax Arts Coalition for their resources and question templates.